Last Friday, to celebrate National Day on Writing, I launched what I called “the first annual Bennett Ink Community Writing Project.”
It actually turned into projectS, as I shared the opening sentence on various Facebook pages and groups. Each share generated its own story.
Starting with the common opening sentence:
Watching an enormous sphere of chewing gum emerge from her seat-mate’s face, becoming more translucent—and less stable—by the second, Fran reconsidered her decision to take the bus.
The writers who chimed in on my Bennett Ink Facebook page continued:
Not certain whether she was running away or toward something. She opened a book to distract herself, both from her noisy surroundings and from the racing thoughts in her head. She couldn’t help but watch him, his bubble, and his bushy beard out of the corner of her eye.
“That is not a good combination,” she thought – “bubblegum and beard.”
She started to laugh, but her smile vanished instantly when she saw Rebecca walk in. She had read Rebecca’s shocking #metoo story the night before, and now had no idea what to say to her friend.
Thoughts were swirling around her head…beard, bubble, story, beard, bubble, story…but her attention was pulled back to her surroundings when the bus suddenly lurched. Her vision was suddenly a haze of pink, and a sickly odor enveloped her.
Community writing project, from many communities
As I said, I shared the opening sentence widely. Another writer contributed this second sentence:
Inching away from the protruding orb, she turned toward the window just as the bus lurched forward and back, snapping her hand into the teetering globe: “Yowza! You burst my bubble,” squealed the young woman with the pink goo on her face.
My high school friends have never been big on following instructions. One of them contributed not a second sentence but a rewrite of the first:
Preface: I am sitting on a bus of 30 women traveling to Pennsylvania, from Vermont. “Fran stared out the window at the fast-moving landscape, and by reflection, continued to watch the pale-pink, elastic bubble now looming ever-so-close to her head!”
Some of my writers missed the date—I didn’t publicize it very widely. Others felt that the project deserved more than one day.
So I’m pleased to announce the Community Writing Project of the Month. We’ll start November 1st. I believe if I share the opening sentence as an image, that wherever I post it, people’s comments will all go into one thread. Watch this space for details.
And keep up the good writing.
Check out my year-end retreat—two and a half days to focus on your story, improve your writing, and enjoy the community of a select group of women. Enrollment limited to six writers. Will you be one of them?
Also published on Medium.